Lonesharkoy looks ahead to Sunday's Munster Hurling and he likes Limerick to win away in Ennis against Clare.
Limerick vs Clare
In the absence of qualifier action, there’s actually a fairly scant card of action this weekend in the world of intercounty GAA, with only three meaningful games to be decided – and within those three meaningful games, we have one side out of the six who have no reason to put any effort in whatsoever.
Local rivalry might keep Waterford honest in their Munster championship clash with Cork, even though Derek McGrath’s side will not hurl again this summer regardless of the result in Semple Stadium, but it’s still easy to see why the bookmakers are offering 1/5 or short about Cork for this tie. This is where the dodgy umpiring against Tipperary has come home to roost. If Waterford had got the win against Tipperary that their hurling probably deserved, then they’d have every chance this Sunday. A win against Cork, plus any kind of result for Clare against Limerick, would see them stay in the All Ireland series. Instead, their race has been run.
As it happens, this column suspects that it would all be moot anyway, because Limerick are in a far better place than Clare right now and look like great value at 10/11 for the game in Ennis.
Whether we use Tipp, Cork or Waterford as the barometer by which to draw a form line across these two teams, the Treaty county men are well out in front. John Kiely’s side have really exploded into life this year and they’ve been comfortably the best team in Munster, and arguably the only side that has so far shown enough to suggest that they might keep it pucked out to Galway.
They score freely, they win ball well, they defend aggressively and they have great options on the bench to shake things up – and while Clare have found a little bit of rhythm in recent weeks, and they’ll certainly carry in plenty of momentum after the way they finished last week’s game, they haven’t hit the same standard of play for any sustained length of time.
Clare have a little bit more of a freshness advantage in that they’ll be playing for their second week in a row while Limerick are out for the third week in succession, but this is mitigated by the fact that Limerick are unbeaten, and they were able to wind down in the latter stages of their game against Waterford last week. All the wise heads that talk of how players should be able to play week in and week out miss the point of why the intense format is just too much – it’s not recovering from the game, it’s recovering from the psychological blow of a defeat that is the tricky aspect. That won’t be a factor here for either team.
Limerick @ 10/11 with Betway